How the US auto industry is creating jobs and cutting pollution while helping Americans save money

Imagine if our nation was offered a choice of how to spend half a trillion dollars of our wealth over the next two decades.
One option would be to send $350 billion overseas to the Middle East and other oil exporting countries, and the remainder on increasing oil industry revenues.
An alternative option would be to take that half a trillion dollars and invest $300 billion directly into the U.S. auto industry, put $200 billion back into consumers’ pockets, and create half a million new jobs while cutting emissions of dangerous carbon pollution.
Is this choice just a pipe dream? Is it too simplistic a way to look at things?
Hardly.

Green Test Drive: 2012 Prius v offers an eco ride for families

The high-mileage Toyota Prius is the best-selling hybrid on the road, but it’s not a car for everybody. It can fit four in reasonable comfort, as long as they travel light. While that makes it a great second car for long commutes or the principal ride of eco-conscious empty-nesters, it’s not really a family car – unless your family consists of a couple of dogs smaller than a football.
The 2012 Prius v, however, offers a mash-up of hybrid technology and station wagon roominess to serve as the family’s primary vehicle. Unless you’re Kate Gosselin.

Green Test Drive: Honda Civic Hybrid 2009

By Clint Williams

Let’s be honest: For most folks, conservation implies sacrifice. Maybe even a little discomfort. Turn down the thermostat to save energy, your feet are cold.

There is no sacrifice involved driving the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid. Not after you write the check, anyway. In fact, Honda this year is adding some nice touches. The most important addition is electronic stability control, now standard. Options now include leather-trimmed interior, heated seats, navigation system, XM satellite radio and Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®.

The Civic Hybrid is powered by a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine and a 15 kilowatt electric motor, producing a combined 110-horsepower. That horsepower is harnessed by a smooth continuously variable transmission. Acceleration is best described as adequate, but this isn’t a sports car.